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Pachydactylus gaiasensis STEYN & MITCHELL 1967

Pachydactylus gaiasensis
Erwachsenes Weibchen von Pachydactylus gaiasensis.
© W.D. Haacke

Pachydactylus gaiasensis
Schlupf von Pachydactylus gaiasensis.
© M. Barts

Pachydactylus gaiasensis
Frisch geschlüpftes Jungtier von Pachydactylus gaiasensis
© M. Barts

Pachydactylus gaiasensis
Frisch geschlüpftes Jungtier von Pachydactylus gaiasensis.
© M. Barts

Pachydactylus gaiasensis
Lebensraum von Pachydactylus gaiasensis am Brandberg/Namibia.
© M. Barts

 

Originalbeschreibung / Original description

STEYN, W. & J.L. MITCHELL (1967): Two new gekkos from South West Africa. — Cimbebasia, Windhoek, 21: 16— Terra typica: vicinity of Gaias on a sandstone outcrop in the Southern Kaokoveld approximately 40 miles north-west of the Brandberg, collected by C. Brits 29. 3. 1966

Material Twelve specimens. Holotype: An adult U(CR 4450/7) from the vicinity of Gaias on a sandstone outcrop in the Southern Kaokoveld approximately 40 miles north-west of the Brandberg, collected by C. Brits 29. 3. 1966.

Allotype: An adult T (CR 4450/6) from the same locality. Collected by W. Steyn 29. 3. 1966.

Paratypes: An adult T (CR 4456/2); 2 adults females(CR 4456/3 CR 4456/1) 2 subadults UU (CR 4450/l—2) 3 juveniles (CR 4450/3—5), collected by W. Steyn, C. Brits, P. Motonane and A. Vlsagie at the same locality on 29th and 30th March 1966, and an adult U (CR 2994) and juvenile (CR 2992) collected at the same site on 27th June 1964 by W. Steyn and F. Brown respectively.

All the types are preserved in the collection of the WindhoekStateMuseum.

Diagnosis: Related to Pachydactylus oreophilus McLachlan and Spence, from which it is subspecifically differentiated by the nature of the dorsal scaling, the subcaudal scaling, the presence of tubercles on the forelimbs, a slightly higher scansor count, a bigger size and the colour pattern.

Description: Holotype: Head prominently distinct from neck, depressed, ovally elongate and 1.26 times as long as broad. Snout very depressed and acuminate twice as long as the horizontal diameter of the eye and 1.41 times as long as the distance from eye to ear opening which is moderate (approximately 1/2 the eye diameter) and almost vertically oval. The nostril opens outwards and upwards, and is pierced between 3 nasal scales, the first upper labial and rostral which is 1.96 times as broad as deep. The anteriormost nasal scales (nasorostrals) are separated by a single, large flat granule, and the nasal "ring" is moderately raised. Upper labials 12+12; lower labials 10+11. Mental a little narrower than adjacent labials elongately rectangular, not narrowed posteriorly. Gulars minute, flattened, smooth, juxtaposed or slightly imbricate, much larger laterally along labial margins where a few are shield-like. Over the chest and belly the scales become larger, and more imbricate for the most part subequal in size to the dorsal granules; except for an area accross the midabdominal region and along the anterior ventral surface of the thighs where the scales are much larger. No preanal nor femoral pores. Occipital granules unequal, rounded, convex, juxtaposed and much smaller than the enlarged slightly convex scales on the snout. Occipital tubercles rounded, subconical and sparsely distributed, denser posteriorly and a little smaller than the nasal scales.

Dorsal scales granular, unequal, juxtaposed, convex (a few flattened or obtusely keeled) distinctly larger than occipital granules, but smaller than the scales on the snout. Dorsal tubercles moderate, strongly keeled, more or less oval and in 14 regular longitudinal rows; those posterolaterally being subequal to the tuberc les nearer the midline. In the vertebral line is a narrow strip 3—4 granules wide, free of tubercles. The granules on the flanks are more distinctly convex, or sub-conical. Tail prominently verticillate, each segment bearing dorsally 3—4 trans verse rows of juxtaposed obtusely keeled scales, and terminating in a transverse row of 8—4 (8 proximally, 4 distally) large strongly keeled tubercles. Ventrally the tail is covered with slightly larger scales than above. The ventral caudal scales are smooth, flattened and slightly imbricate with a few in the midline en larged. Limbs slender, moderate, the adpressed hindlimb reaching the elbow of the backward pressed forelimb. Hindlimb with strongly keeled tubercles, more densely aggregate on the lower than on the upper limb. Lower forelimbs with bluntly keeled tubercles among flat subimbricate scales. A median series of transversely enlarged scales beneath the digits which are moderately slender. Digital terminal expansions moderately large.

Scansors under fingers

Scansors under toes

Right

Left

Right

Left

I 8

7

I 6

7

II 8

8

II 7

8

III 8

8

III 8

8

IV 8

8

IV 8

8

V 6

7

V 8

8

 

Postanal sacs present above which on either side of the base of the tail are superior and inferior series of enlarged white, tooth-like tubercles, arranged in the order 3+2 (left) and 2 + 1 (right). The upper rows (3 and 2) are much larger than those below.

Colour (in spirits): Basic colour light grey. On the back from the nape to a point slightly forward of the groin the body is covered with irregular moderate sized spots of grey to mauvish brown. On either side of the midline the spots are larger and tend to coalesce longitudinally enclosing a well defined light grey to whitish vertebral stripe. Over the sacral region the spots tend to coalesce laterally thus interrupting the vertebral stripe. The head above is vermiculated with the same darker colour. An ill defined streak passes from its origin behind and below the nostril through the eye well above the ear opening to a point on the occiput where it becomes discontinuous in the vermiculations. On the nape is an irregular ill defined area of light grey with a darker centre.

On the cheeks the spots are more dispersed and much smaller. The labials and the granules forming the extra-brillar fringes are dark edged with light grey. The limbs and tail are finely vermicular and the tubercles (or at least the keels on the dorsum) are greyish white. Ventrally the body is uniformly greyish white tinged laterally with mauvish brown.

Dimensions (in mm.):— Total length 125.5 (68.0 + 57.5) the tail being equivalent to 85% of the snout to vent measurement. Head length 19.17; Head breadth 15.16

Allotype: As described for the holotype with the following variations. Head 1.29 times as long as broad. Snout 1.87 times as long the diameter of the eye and 1.30 times as long as the distance from eye to ear opening which is subrotund. Rostral 1.71 times as broad as deep. Upper labials 11+13; lower labials; 11+11. Tail, which is a regenerated one, not verticillate, covered above with keeled, juxtaposed scales below as in the holotype.

Scansors under fingers

Scansors under toes

Right

Left

Right

Left

I 7

7

I 7

8

II 7

8

II 8

8

III 8

8

III 8

8

IV 8

8

IV 8

8

V 8

8

V 9

7

 

A minute needle-like claw present between the distalmost scansor and the nail-like scale above. No postanal sacs, and tubercles at the base of the tail small, in a rather irregular order of 2+3 and 3+2.

Colour: Basically as in the holotype except that the large spots enclosing the vertebral stripe are not coalesced to any great extent and a few are slightly occellate. These spots are arranged more or less symetrically in 6—7 pairs between the nape and the rump.

Dimensions: Total length 103.0 (65.0 + 38.0) the tail being equal to 59% of the snout to vent measurement. Head length 19.80; Head breadth 15.33

Paratype variation: (The mean values are given for the entire series.) Head 1.26—1.39 (mean 1.31) times as long as broad. Snout 1.60—2.05 (mean 1.83) times as long as the distance from eye to ear opening which is small to moderate almost vertically oval, obliquely oval or subrotund. Nostril opening upwards and outwards or more or less directly outwards, pierced between three nasal scales, the first upper labial and the rostral. In one paratype (CR 4450/1) the rostral is narrowly excluded on one side. Nasal "ring" moderately to well raised, or only slightly raised (in juveniles). Rostral 1.67—2.00 (mean 1.85) times as broad as deep. Upper labials 10—12 (usually 11—12) only the allotype has the high number of 13 on one side, and only one paratype has the low number of 10. Lower labials 9—10 (usually 9).

Mental is not, or only slightly narrowed posteriorly. In two paratypes immediately behind, though not adjoining the mental, are from 1—4 irregularly arranged flat enlarged scales, or chin shields. The gulars are flat and imbricate or convex and juxtaposed. The middorsal strip free of tubercles is from 2—4 (usually 3—4) granules wide. First toe with 6—8 (usually 7) subdigital scansors; fourth toe with 8—9 (usually 8).

There are never less than 6 scansors per digit and never more than 9. Minute digital claw observed only on the feet of females (including the allotype). Tub-ercles at the base of the tail arranged in the order 3+2, 2+2, or 2+1 usually 3+2).

Colour (in spirits): The colour in the adults is fairly constant and with minor variations agrees with the holotype. In the juveniles, however, the colour is quite different as follows: Head uniform brown with a white, well defined band arising below the eye, passing above the ear opening and encircling the head behind the occiput. Immediately behind this white band the body and forelimbs are uniformly blackish brown, this very dark dorsal colour terminates abruptly a little forward of the groin where it gives way to a white lumbar region which extends onto the upper hindlimbs, terminating sharply just above the knees. The tail and lower hindlimbs are uniformly greyish brown. The underparts are brownish white except for the lower abdominal region which is lighter.

It seems that the black dorsal colour soon becomes lighter with faint indications of the spots of the adult and whitish tubercles, while the white lumbar region darkens gradually and becomes vermiculated. The belly appears to lighten very earl.

Dimensions: The tail is equivalent to 72—89% (mean 80% ) of the snout to vent dimension. Regenerated tails apparently do not attain the length of originals.

Sexual dimorphism: Postanal sacs are present only in the males, while in the females and juveniles the tubercles at the base of the tail are relatively small. The minute claw was only observed on the feet in the females.